Vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, fruit, they can have the form of sorbet or be with milk, on a stick, in a waffle cone, a cup or pressed. They have thousands of flavours and types and each of us had an opportunity to taste them more than once. Ice cream tastes best in the summer when the temperature goes up, and everyone is looking for a cool refreshment.
Time for ice cream!
The largest producer of ice cream in the European Union is Italy (19 % of the total EU production). According to Eurostat, in 2016, Italy produced over half a billion litres (585 m l), followed by Germany (514 m l), France (453 m l), Spain (300 m l) and Poland (263 m l). In total, in 2016, the European Union produced over 3 billion litres of ice cream.
By far the largest ice cream consumers in the world are New Zealanders who annually eat an average of 28.4 l of ice cream per person. In turn in Europe, the biggest quantity of ice cream is consumed by the Finns who eat 14.2 litres of ice cream annually per person. The Poles consume just about 4-5 litres of ice cream per person every year. Taking into account the export of these frozen delicacies, the leaders are: France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy. Polish ice cream area also doing well abroad. According to Eurostat data, in the first three quarters of 2017, the volume of ice cream exports from Poland increased by 23% to 50.9 thousand tons, and its value amounted to EUR 104 million (21% more than the year before). In the first nine months of 2017, more ice cream was exported from Poland than in the whole of 2016. The largest recipient of cold delicacies from our country was Germany, where in the first three quarters, 14.1 thousand tons of these products were delivered, which was 55% more than in the previous year. Sales of Polish ice cream to the Czech Republic increased by 14% to 6.4 thousand tons and to Hungary the increase was 55% to 5 thousand tons. It should be noted, however, that export to the United Kingdom dropped by 32% to 2.8 thousand tons.
Interestingly, favourite flavours of the Poles, similarly to all Europeans, have remained the same for years and they are classic vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, which everyone knows well from childhood. However, producers are constantly expanding their offer and introducing new formats and flavour combinations to increase sales. Yet, to make eating ice cream a pure pleasure, they must get to you cold and without proper storage and transport conditions in refrigerated trucks, it wouldn’t be possible.
Fresh and cold ice cream - its possible thanks to logistics
In the sector of logistics for frozen products, the most important is quality, which is directly related to maintaining the product temperature at an appropriate level throughout the entire supply chain. To accomplish this task, it is necessary to have specialist knowledge, properly equipped fleet and warehouses - freezers. The fleet designed for transporting products at temperatures below -18 degrees C must be fully operational and equipped with devices enabling registration and printout of temperature measurements. It is necessary to have standards and procedures in place for servicing such products, as well as the commitment and awareness of employees who take part in the process.
“At Fresh Logistics Polska, we put great emphasis on food safety, because as an intermediary between the producer and the consumer, we are aware of the great responsibility on our side. Actions undertaken by our company and the implemented procedures are used to monitor CCPs (Critical Control Point) based on verifying the temperature, from the collection from the customer through the whole process of storing and transport. This requirement is fulfilled e.g. by supervision over the equipment which maintains appropriate temperature, which eliminates the risk of interrupting the cold chain” - stresses Krzysztof Nowaczyk from the Quality Department of Fresh Logistics Polska.
Temperature requirements for frozen goods, in particular ice cream and deep-frozen products, generate high costs of energy consumption. In the case of transport, we can talk about costs higher by about 20% than the costs of transport in refrigerated conditions (temperature above 0 degrees C). The cost of energy related to the maintenance of specialized storage areas, equipped with adequate generators and air locks to protect against the exchange of air with the outside environment, is about twice as high as the costs associated with maintaining the controlled temperature at above 0 degrees C. Higher employee costs should also be expected due to the working conditions.
“The demand for ice cream depends primarily on weather conditions - and therefore it is virtually unpredictable. The biggest challenge for ice cream producers and logistics operators is the distribution of goods with volume jumps of up to several hundred percent from day to day” - explains Maja Kierzek-Piotrowska, Customer Service Manager at Fresh Logistics Polska.
Logistics and transport of ice cream require incredible precision and the know-how. To meet the requirements of the market and the seasonality of this type of products, producers use the services of qualified logistics operators who, thanks to the handling various product groups, have their sales peaks in different periods of the year, and are able to guarantee the safety of products and the availability of delicious ice cream treats during summer heat.
Short history of ice cream
At the end it is worth reminding that already the ancient Greeks or Romans were looking for a moment of ice refreshment, eating crushed ice or snow with the addition of fruit juice or honey. Unfortunately, getting ice from the mountains was very expensive, hence only the elite could afford such a delicacy. Apparently, even Alexander the Great was a connoisseur of heavily chilled rice noodles with rose water called faloodeh. It was not until the 19th century that there was a turn in the history of ice cream. Small home appliances for making ice cream were created at that time. The turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century witnessed the rise of the so popular cones, and Otello Cattabriga of Bologna constructed the first automatic ice cream machine in 1927. That is why, Italy is considered the European capital of ice cream even today.